America’s chain retailers love Black Friday because it kicks off the season of mindless holiday spending that helps pad their profits before the end of the year. But many of the deals offered by the stores really aren’t that spectacular — and they’re certainly not worth the foolish displays of human indignity which emerge on this day each year.
Despite all the media and advertising hype around Black Friday, a Reuters/IPSOS poll found that 63 percent of Americans plan to forego the so-called shopping holiday of the year. And while corporate media economic experts are paid to claim that less shopping on that particular day spells bad news for the economy and that Americans who don’t participate are missing out on deals, the number really only means that many people are becoming wise to the Black Friday hoax.
Black Friday deals mean one of two things: Retailers marked up deeply discounted goods ahead of the event or shoppers are buying discounted goods alongside other products that come with a heavy markup.
On Black Friday retailers simply sell the illusion of deals. That’s why they don’t do more to prevent the horrific displays that occur in chain stores throughout the country every year on Black Friday: Seeing people fight over heavily discounted items builds hype and the potential for more level-headed shoppers to feel like they must be missing out on something.
If you enjoy being duped by corporate marketing departments and joining zombie masses fighting over Chinese products like hungry wolves over a carcass, by all means head down to your local Wal-Mart.
But if you’re looking for a better way to find holiday savings that actually does drive economic growth, a better bet would be to shop with local small businesses. Heck, you can even stay home with your family on Friday and get great deals this way.
The smaller and more locally focused a store, the more likely the business owner is to be dedicated to top notch customer service and building repeat business. And in local shops there’s still an open door for price haggling. Better yet, these are better places to find unique and heartfelt gifts for your loved ones.
Mega corporations want your money, local businesses want your satisfaction.